Blue chipper

Published 2:48 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

Straughn’s Crawford signs with Troy

Troy University football head coach Neal Brown announced this week the signing of the nation’s top center to join the Trojans effectively immediately. Kevin Crawford, a 10-year-old from Andalusia, made it official this past Friday evening as he inked with the Trojans prior to Troy’s victory over Georgia Southern.

Crawford joined the Trojans as a member of Team IMPACT, a national nonprofit that connects children facing life-threatening or chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.

Crawford was a highly sought after recruit, but he had his eyes on Troy from early on in the recruiting process and the decision was an easy one.

“I picked Troy because it is one of the greatest teams ever,” Crawford said at his introductory press conference in front of his new teammates and coaches.

“Kevin is a once in a lifetime blue chipper, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him join our program,” Brown said. “He is tough, physical and plays with an edge on every single snap. Kevin brings a special energy with him every day, and we just got a whole lot better as a football program.”

A fifth-grader, Crawford has been battling acute lymphoblastic T-cell leukemia since August 2016. Through Team IMPACT’s program at Troy University, Crawford will become an official member of the Trojan football team. As a part of the program, he will attend practices, games, dinners, events and more.

Crawford is a student at Straughn.

Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,300 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 47 states, reaching over 35,000 participating student-athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child’s support team. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage and resiliency they can’t learn in a classroom.

Crawford and the rest of the Trojans take on Idaho tonight at The Vet. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. in a nationally televised game on ESPNU.